New Rochelle Updates Downtown Development Plan

The New Rochelle City Council has unanimously approved a significant update to our downtown development plan. These amendments include an extension of the Downtown Overlay Zone (DOZ) to encompass the Echo Bay waterfront, provisions for new open space and parkland, additional housing to meet surging demand, and enhanced requirements/incentives for sustainable building design, green infrastructure, and climate resiliency, including an allowance for offsite improvements that advance environmental justice. The refreshed development framework is bolstered by parallel efforts to expand opportunities for local Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), strengthen New Rochelle’s affordable housing policy, and create new recreational and pedestrian amenities, such as the LINC.

At regional and national conferences, New Rochelle is often cited as a model of intelligent, successful planning.  Our combination of a form-based zoning code, completed environmental review, and master developer for publicly-owned sites has created an ideal regulatory environment that reduces risk, ensures predictability, and requires every project to advance community-based goals and design criteria.  Since the inception of this framework in 2015, New Rochelle has experienced unprecedented economic growth, attracting $2.2 billion in private investment, with thirty-two projects approved, totaling 9.2 million square feet. Six are already completed, with lease-up exceeding 90%, and twelve more are under construction, all within an area that is compact, walkable, transit-served, and highly diverse — exactly the kind of setting in which growth makes the most sense and does the most good.  Ongoing development is also making a positive, and escalating, contribution to City and School District finances.

The amended DOZ will extend New Rochelle’s impressive economic momentum, while guiding the next wave of projects more fully toward principles of environmental and social governance (ESG) — achieving development that is sustainable, equitable, and inclusive, and also creating a powerful magnet for ESG-focused capital.

To be sure, New Rochelle’s redevelopment is still a work in progress: the growing pains of construction are widespread and intense; completion of all the approved projects is years away; and we have not yet experienced the street-level commercial activation that really makes a downtown come alive.  There is much still to do . . . and yet every reason to be confident of our trajectory.

I am grateful for the outstanding teamwork and robust public engagement that made these accomplishments possible, eager to grab hold of the important work still ahead, and optimistic as never before about the future of our city.

Follow our progress at ideallynewrochelle.com.

Get Boosted

With COVID rates once again on the rise, I just sent the following citywide message, detailing new State requirements and encouraging vaccines and boosters.  Stay safe and healthy.

This is the City of New Rochelle with an important public health update.

Para espanol, oprima numero uno. 

COVID cases are once again increasing throughout our region. As a result, New York State has announced new restrictions. Starting Monday, all indoor public spaces must require either proof of vaccination or mask-wearing.

Free boosters are now available for everyone 16 and older at doctor’s offices, medical centers, and pharmacies. If you’re eligible, please get your booster as soon as possible. And, of course, if you haven’t yet received your first shot, there’s never been a better time. It’s the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from serious illness, especially with the arrival of the highly-contagious omicron variant. To find a vaccination and booster site near you, visit vaccines.gov.

Additional details are available on the City website at www.newrochelleny.com/coronavirus.

This has been Mayor Noam Bramson. Thank you for listening, and let’s all do our part to have a safe and healthy winter.

SBA Announces Veteran Entrepreneurship Grant at Iona

U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman with Mayor Noam Bramson

It was an honor to welcome U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman to New Rochelle this morning, as she announced a $350,000 grant for Iona College to support entrepreneurship among veterans and military spouses.  Iona will work with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families to provide small business technical assistance, loan preparation, access to capital, and networking support.  I am grateful to the SBA and to President Seamus Carey and Iona’s leadership for this excellent initiative.

Scenes from a Holiday Celebration

Some great scenes from last night’s interfaith lighting ceremony at New Rochelle’s Memorial Plaza.  Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce, the BID, and New Ro Parks & Rec for being the lead organizers.  I am proud to live in a city that draws strength from diversity of faith and tradition . . . and grateful that the Songcatchers let me sneak in for a photo.  (Photo credits: Susan Nagib)

Seasonal Events in New Ro

There are lots of fun ways to celebrate the season in New Rochelle.

Tomorrow, December 2, the Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual interfaith Holiday Lighting at 5:30pm on Memorial Plaza.

The next day — December 3 — we launch a new tradition with the opening of the Holiday Market at the New Rochelle Transit Center. Visit www.NewRochelleDRi.com/HolidayMarket for a full list of vendors and scheduled entertainment.  The market will run through December 12.

In addition, youngsters can visit with Santa throughout the month — in front of  City Hall on December 8, at Lincoln Park on December 9, and at various parks on December 18. For more information visit www.NewRochelleNY.com/Events.

And if you’re looking for opportunities to give back or would like to be added to our donation and drive page, visit www.NewRochelleNY.com/Give.

Finally, the City is offering two hours of free holiday parking in certain municipal lots throughout December, as well as two hours of free parking on the rooftop deck of the New Rochelle Transit Center garage for shoppers at the Holiday Market, effective during market hours only.

Have a great December!